The Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience

The Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience

Written by Neil Patel & Aaron Agius

Chapter Six

Paid Social Media

In the first chapter we talked about ways you can use paid social media to build your social communities and followings. In this chapter we’re going to share key strategies you can use to grow your traffic by marketing your blog posts through paid social media.

Paid is an option many don’t consider when it comes to marketing blog posts. We discussed this in the chapter about paid search and it’s true for paid social. There are some good opportunities if you really want to grow your blog with targeted traffic.

In the following sections were going to share one specific strategy you can use with each of the following social media advertising programs to promote your blog posts.

There are more ways to do it, but these are some of the most effective.

Let’s get into it.

Facebook

As we’ve been saying, Facebook is the most popular social network so we start much of our efforts here. And that goes for paid social blog marketing as well. Here is the strategy to use for your blog with paid Facebook advertising.

Step 1 Creating Sponsored Stories

We talked about the normal Facebook ads for getting followers. These can work to promote your blog posts, but Sponsored Stories offers a bigger opportunity to get traffic to your blog and interest in your brand.

  • Step 2 Go to the Ads Create Tool

  • Step 3 Choose the Advertising Objective — Clicks to Website

  • Step 4 Select the image that is used in your blog post.
    Custom illustrations work best

Step 5 Enter your blog’s title into the Sponsored Story create tool

Remember, this is the most important part of your blog marketing. The title needs to be incredibly catchy and click-worthy.

We’ve shared a few examples in the previous chapters, but here are a few action words that entice clicks:

  • Surprising
  • Unexpected
  • Shocking
  • Kill
  • Destroy

Use more verbs than nouns. Don’t give away all the information in the title. Numbers are excellent for titles. People love lists and stats.

Here are a few examples:

  • 11 Surprising Ways To Unclog Your Drain
  • You Won’t Believe How These People Unclog Their Drains
  • Learn How To Destroy Drain Clogs In Two Minutes

Depending on your niche you can expect to pay about $1 per click to your blog, but there are many variables that can influence how much you will pay. Depending on the nature of your business this can provide some excellent ROI in terms of initial sales, but the main focus of this ad campaign is to get people to your blog. Wow them with your content and get them to opt-in to your email list for more updates.

Twitter

Twitter has a variety of ad options like Facebook and other social networks. The best one for your blog marketing efforts is the Promoted Tweets option.

Here are the steps to create a Promoted Tweets campaign that will generate traffic for your blog posts.

Step 1 Select Your Most Popular Tweets

The first step is to pick the type of tweet that does well with your followers. This might not be your best blog post, but you’re targeting the Twitter audience so you want a tweet that garnered a good number of retweets, clicks and other types of interaction like favorites.

Step 2 Choose Your Target Audience Or Interests In Timeline

We’ve been discussing your target audience for much of this guide. By now you should have a really good idea of the people that will be most interested in your tweets and your blog content. Twitter gives you the opportunity to target people based on the type of people they follow and what has been shared on their profile and in their feeds.

Step 3 Target By Keywords In Timeline

Twitter also allows you to target your promoted tweets by keyword. We did this research in previous chapters on paid search. You can reuse that information to choose the best keywords to target in your Twitter campaigns.

In the past, Twitter has had high minimum purchases for ads. This made is difficult for small and medium businesses to use the platform, but much has changed with Twitter Advertising.

You can expect about $0.50 to $0.75 estimated cost per engagement, which is Twitter’s way of telling you what your cost per click is. Engagement can include anything from clicks to retweets to replies and follows. Double this and you’ll get what your expected cost per click will be to promote your blog posts with Twitter.

Step 4 Buying Tweets

Along with sponsored tweets on Twitter there are also services that allow you to buy tweets.

These services include:

LinkedIn

If your target audience is professionals or if you are in the B2B industry then LinkedIn may offer the most opportunity for your paid marketing efforts. LinkedIn has been doing a lot to bolster the connections people can make on LinkedIn. It is a great sales tool for sales professionals and the site has been investing in content as well.

As you would imagine, LinkedIn also have an advertising program that benefits content marketers.

Here are the steps to successfully promoting your blog posts using LinkedIn.

Step 1 Signup for LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn had traditional online advertising that appears in the sidebar, but the Sponsored Updates options is much more advantageous for content producers.

Sign up for the Sponsored Updates. This is the first step to creating your first campaign.

Step 2 Setup Your LinkedIn Sponsored Update Ad

Sponsored Updates are almost identical to a regular LinkedIn update. Find the updates that have done the best for you on LinkedIn in the past. These will be updates where you’ve shared one of your best blog posts. The update will have received many shares, comments, likes and visits to your post.

Step 3 Target Your Reader

LinkedIn has a lot of unique information about people. Nearly everything a person puts on their LinkedIn profile is available for you as an advertiser. You can segment your target audience by the industry, company size, title, and their location.

The estimated cost per click on Sponsored Updates is about $1-2 dollars. This is than many of the other paid social options. It’s a pretty good rate if you can turn those visitors into subscribers and customers.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon can be one of the biggest sources of traffic for your blog — both organic and paid traffic.

Content that does well on StumbleUpon includes:

  • Tutorials
  • Guides
  • Images
  • Infographics
  • Lists

A couple of those make for really great blog posts. StumbleUpon can be very visually focused, but people in general like something visual. If you have a great tutorial with unique illustrations and images you’ll likely have a winner for StumbleUpon.

Paid Discovery is the paid model on StumbleUpon. The unique aspect of Paid Discovery is that you aren’t paying for an ad in the same sense that you do with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

On StumbleUpon, users browse the Internet by having StumbleUpon show them suggestions website pages based on their interests and previous likes.

Users do this organically, but Paid Discovery allows content owners to pay for inclusion in the Stumble process. This way, target users are directed right to your webpage. You don’t have to worry about creating ads.

Here is a method for marketing your blog posts using StumbleUpon Paid Discovery.

Step 1 Choose The Blog Post To Promote

We mentioned some of the posts that do well with the StumbleUpon audience. Select a post from your archives that fits well with those requirements. Find a very visual post with unique photos or illustrations. Or find a guide that has been a hit with readers.

Step 2 Select Your Target Audience

Right now, there are two options for advertising with Paid Discovery. There is a version that is $0.10+ per unique visitors and a version that is $0.12+ per unique visitor. The higher priced version has some additional features most notably one that allows you to have higher priority in certain content streams.

With the higher priced version you can also get more granular in the way you target your target audience. You can select based on age, interests and location. Interest will likely be the most important way that you choose where you want your content to appear in the stream.

Select the interest based on your piece of content and the industry that your business is in.

For example, if you were in the plumbing industry with a post on 10 Unique Ways To Unclog Drains, you would opt for something in the Bizarre/Oddities or maybe the Physics category. You’re looking for something that is popular with users, but relevant to your topic.

Step 3 Pay Per Visitor

As mentioned in the previous step, StumbleUpon is pay per visitor. This is very unique compared to other online advertising that makes you pay per click or even pay per impression.

And with StumbleUpon you know the person is looking at your blog post. The struggle is getting the person to look at your page for longer than a single second.

To do this make sure the page loads fast.

Include an image at the top that really captures the attention of new visitors.

Make sure your headline or title is catchy and right at the top of the page.

These are all the things that make for a great post anyway, but they’re especially important for the very selective audience on StumbleUpon.

Reddit

The Reddit community is one of the most passionate on the Internet. They are also massive in numbers and have been known to bring websites to their knees after sending incredible amounts of traffic.

The Reddit community is not easily impressed. Although it can seem like it, Reddit users are looking for things that are truly interesting, enlightening and entertaining. They can spot obvious shots at advertising like no other community.

But there is opportunity with Reddit Ads. If your content is strong and fits the requirements of being truly unique and unexpected you can have success.

Reddit ads appear on the top of the various pages. They are obviously ads so users don’t feel tricked into clicking on them. When people choose to select an ad they usually know it. So there is little chance of upsetting customers this way.

You can choose to puts on the main page of Reddit (very expensive) or you can be more selective with the niche pages (best option).

Here is the process for setting up a successful ad on Reddit.

Step 1 Select A Blog Post To Promote

Content that does well on Reddit is pretty varied. People are interested in content that makes them feel some type of emotion. Reddit users share pictures of disgusting fast food, stories of racial profiling from newspapers, amazing images taken by people that send weather balloons into space and more.

The content that has a chance to do well on Reddit is probably your stories that include results from studies that will affect your target audience.

Step 2 Create The Title For Your Reddit Ad

The title is the most important part of using Reddit. You only get a title to describe your content. If you look at some Reddit threads you’ll notice that Reddit users can be pretty clever with their titles, but it’s risky to try and get clever with your titles.

The better option is to be straightforward with the title for your content.

An example of an ad that received over 300 comments (and probably thousands of clicks) read:

The new AAA action game,
World of Warplanes has launched.
Get Airborne.

Nothing fancy. Just straightforward content explaining what people could expect when they clicked.

Step 3 Interact With Those That Comment

A unique element of Reddit advertising is that your ad really becomes a thread like a regular post on Reddit. Users are allowed to comment on the ad where they can discuss the topic with other users and with you.

This is a great opportunity for you to get feedback on the post and its contents. It takes place on Reddit, but Reddit users take notice when something has lots of comments so responding to each will boost the comment count making it appear that your post is very popular.

Some Reddit advertisers have experienced incredible ROI.

From a few years ago, there are examples of people seeing costs as low as 3, 4 and 5 cents per click.

Now, the prices have probably gone up along with Reddit traffic.

Compared to $1 per click, the potential to use Reddit as a paid marketing option for your blog is obvious.

Reddit Ads have a minimum investment of $5 for a campaign and $0.75 per impression. That’s the starting point so you can expect costs to go up from there.

YouTube Ads

You know that YouTube is one of the biggest search engines and most trafficked sites on the web. It’s also a great place to promote your blog posts.

With YouTube Ads, you can place banner ads on relevant videos. You can choose the categories that best fit your post and promote it on those types of videos.

Putting It All Together

Paying for clicks and traffic on social media can be a great option to market your blog. A lot of the information about blog marketing covers the organic options. While some of these can turn your blog into a popular destination quickly the more likely scenario is that it will take time for you to build communities to promote your blog content.

With paid social, you have the opportunity to pay for traffic and clicks right away. And if you do well to target your target audience on the right channels you can build your audience with advertising to supplement your organic efforts.